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Staging an Intervention

Living with drug or alcohol addiction can be incredibly challenging and often leads to severe emotional and physical harm. While many people consider the toll addiction takes on addicted people, It’s important to remember that addiction also impacts everyone in the addicted person’s life, too.

Getting treatment for an addiction can help people regain control over their lives and health. It can lead to improved communication, healthier relationships, and better overall health.

But what if your loved one doesn’t want to go to treatment? Many people with addiction are unaware of their addiction’s severity or believe they’re hiding their substance abuse well. Some simply do not want to seek treatment for practical reasons, such as worrying about how to pay for it or taking time away from work.

If someone in your life struggles with substance abuse or addiction but isn’t seeking treatment, you may consider staging and intervention. Interventions are planned, structured conversations between a person who struggles with substance use and their loved ones.

Successful interventions can convince people with addiction to seek treatment. This guide will outline how to stage an addiction intervention, when to stage it, and more.

When is the Right Time to Stage an Addiction Intervention?

Successful interventions can happen at any stage of addiction, but early treatment is generally more effective at supporting long-term recovery. One of the first steps in staging an intervention is recognizing the signs of addiction.

Some of the signs of addiction include:

  • Lying, hiding, or secretive behaviors
  • Borrowing or stealing money
  • New or worsening physical health conditions
  • Angry outbursts or aggressive behaviors
  • Changes in appearance, sleep patterns, and appetite
  • Sudden low mood or energy
  • New or worsening problems at school or work

The sooner you can encourage your loved one to begin treatment, the more likely they will complete the program and commit to sobriety.

It’s important not to rush into an intervention, though. Take time to find appropriate treatment resources, plan the intervention, and practice it beforehand.

What Are the Steps of Staging an Intervention?

Approaching the subject of your loved one’s addiction can seem overwhelming or anxiety-producing. Drug and alcohol abuse can be a sensitive, emotionally-charged topic–and it’s often difficult to predict how someone will react.

Following these steps can ensure that your addiction intervention goes as smoothly as possible and has the best chance of success.

1. Find an interventionist

Hiring a professional addiction interventionist will make it more likely that your intervention will be successful. People with substance abuse and addiction can often remain stuck in a cycle of denial or may feel upset at being confronted. A trained interventionist provides valuable insight and experience that ensure your intervention runs smoothly–and that your loved one will listen.

An interventionist will also help everyone involved communicate clearly and maintain a calm, supportive atmosphere throughout the intervention.

2. Decide who will be present

The interventionist will help you form your intervention group. Ideally, an intervention group will consist of close family and friends but may also include coworkers or others in the addicted person’s life.

People currently struggling with substance abuse or addiction should not attend an intervention. Elderly loved ones and children may attend an intervention but must be prepared for the potential for intensity, tension, or other strong emotions.

3. Plan and practice

The interventionist will educate all group members about addiction, recovery, and the process of an intervention. Understanding addiction as a disease and loss of control can help loved ones develop or maintain compassion for the addicted person.

The group must also plan for who will speak and in what order, what type of treatment they will offer their loved one, and determine the consequences if their loved one refuses to seek treatment.

4. Select a time and place

It’s important to have plenty of room for everyone in the intervention group to feel comfortable. Typically, interventions occur in places where the addicted person will feel safe to reduce the chance they will feel threatened.

Try to plan the intervention so that it will occur when your loved one is less likely to be intoxicated. Your intervention may last an hour or more, so make sure you have plenty of uninterrupted time before beginning.

5. Be ready for anything

Knowing how your loved one will react during the intervention is impossible. They may feel angry, ashamed, or hostile. A trained interventionist will use their skills and experience to de-escalate the conversation and help your loved one feel safe and supported.

The ultimate goal of an intervention is to explain how your loved one’s actions have affected the people in their lives and to convince them to seek treatment immediately. Your loved one will absorb this message more clearly in a calm environment.

The interventionist can also use their experience to identify when an intervention has gone off track–and when it’s time to stop and try again another time.

Find Support Today

At Mandala Healing Center, we inspire healing in our patients through compassionate care. Going beyond the conventional approach of detoxification, patients at our facility are inspired to fully heal in an environment designed to nourish their entire being.

Clients are taken on a journey of healing through complete immersion into evidence-based clinical modalities, multifaceted alternative therapies, and expert medical management, allowing them to fully detox and recover from addiction. Through a program of care designed to encourage change, a foundation is created that allows clients to find their higher purpose and reclaim their lives.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction or would like to learn more about intervention support, please reach out to our dedicated admissions counselors today.